Inventing Traditions: Construing History as German


Memory construction in the 19th and 20th centuries was preoccupied with the question of who was allowed to interpret which history as German. Proponents of national memory culture in the German Empire [Kaiserreich] emphasized the victories of 1813 or 1870–71, stressing their importance for German tradition while overlooking the democratic or liberal developments of the Revolution of 1848. Furthermore, they celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther in order to lay the groundwork for a Protestant hero story that extended from the 16th century to Bismarck and beyond. But others used national celebrations or monument dedications to different political ends. German-Jewish folklore, for example, looked for mystical Judaic traditions that corresponded to the myths in German fairy tales.


  1. < Being Prussian-German after 1800: Christian Men Fighting for the Nation
  2. Modern Museums >